A chemical burn must be treated immediately and is not something to be ignored, as it may get aggravated and cause severe damage to the skin, which may be irreversible at times. Some information about the chemical burn treatment is given in the following article.
People who work in places where large quantities of chemicals are involved, are more susceptible to injuries leading to chemical burns. Other incidents may occur at home through accidental misuse of products, such as those used for hair, nails, skin, etc. This problem is usually caused by acids, like battery acid, toilet bowel cleaner, artificial nail primers, etc. Alkalies are also responsible. Some examples are paint removers, lime, lye, etc. At times, oxidants, such as bleaches, peroxides, chromates, manganates, etc., also cause such burns when they come in contact with skin. This condition is not like an ordinary burn that most people tend to ignore. In some cases, it might turn out to be nasty with serious consequences. However, no matter how harmless looking it is, it should be brought to a doctor’s attention. Severe cases affecting the sensitive parts of the body, such as the eyes, face, groin, and the like, demand immediate chemical burn treatment.
- The first step that needs to be taken is to remove the victim from the accident area and also get rid of any clothes that may have come in contact with the chemical. Take care not to come in contact with the product, and if it is dry, then brush off any excess.
- Using large volumes of cool running water, wash the skin to flush or remove the substance from the injured area. It is best to keep the injured area under cool, running water for about 20 minutes or more. Ensure not to allow runoff to prevent affecting other parts of the body.
- Do not use ice-cold water, as it may further damage the skin. Alternatively, it is best to apply the cold compress wrapped in a soft cloth soaked in cold water. Using this method every one hour for the whole day proves beneficial.
- If there is any sign of the product affecting the eye or the face, then it is best to step into a shower and wash away the substance. Wrap the affected area with a non-sticky gauze or sterilized surgical cotton to dress the wound and protect the area from pressure or friction.
- In cases wherein a small area has been injured and there are no signs of any blisters, then simple treatment methods may help the wound heal without further professional attention and care. However, if you notice any signs of blisters that have covered more than 3 inches (in diameter) of the skin, then it’s time to call for immediate medical help. Any occurrence of unusual symptoms also requires medical help.
- In extreme cases, the blood pressure and the heart rate of the victim may be affected to a critical extent. So IV (intravenous fluids) is administered to normalize the disturbed functions of the body. IV process may also be required to administer certain medicines, so as to prevent any infection or to reduce pain.
- If the chemical has affected the body to a large extent, then the person may be given dosages of antidote (when and if needed). The wounds should be cleaned with creams and treated with sterile wraps.
- During recuperation, drinking plenty of water and fluids will help keeping the body well hydrated. This helps in a speedy recovery.
- Increased consumption of protein-rich foods, such as nuts, beans, eggs, and dairy products in the diet also help in the healing process. Apart from these foods, those rich in Vitamin C also prove beneficial in facilitating the treatment.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.